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Two buildings at La Jolla’s Pantai Inn are not historic, San Diego board rules

This building that is part of the Pantai Inn in La Jolla was deemed not historic by the San Diego Historical Resources Board.
This building that is part of the Pantai Inn on Coast Boulevard in La Jolla was deemed not historic by the San Diego Historical Resources Board.
(Courtesy)

The San Diego Historical Resources Board found that two buildings that are part of La Jolla’s coastal Pantai Inn hotel are not historic during its Jan. 28 meeting.

The buildings are on two legal parcels and were brought before the board to determine whether they are historically significant as part of a constraints analysis for future development. The potential development was not disclosed.

In discussing the parcel at 1025 Coast Blvd., San Diego Associate Planner Gemma Tierney said the building had undergone several modifications since its construction, including changes to its sidings and windows, the enclosure of an original entryway, addition of a balcony, roof additions and the paving of terrace gardens, and therefore did not maintain its original integrity. Tierney recommended that the properties not be designated under any HRB criteria.

Attorney Scott Moomjian, representing Pantai Inn LLC, said the owner agrees with city staff that the property is not historic and doesn’t want it designated.

Moomjian added that the property lacks features consistent with the La Jolla beach cottage style and has “limited” features consistent with the Craftsman style.

During board members’ discussion, several said they “regretfully agree with staff” that the property is not historic due to the changes.

However, trustee Courtney Coyle said: “I feel these few beach cottages we have left … reflect a special element of historic development of La Jolla. I think many of them still have integrity of location association, feel and setting, and I want us to take careful view of that. … There are features still there that evoke the beach cottage.”

A motion to support staff’s findings passed 7-1, with Coyle in opposition.

This building at La Jolla's Pantai Inn hotel was deemed not historic by the San Diego Historical Resources Board.
(Courtesy)

Regarding the building on the parcel at 1021 Coast Blvd., city staff and Moomjian said there had been multiple changes to the point that it no longer retains its original integrity. The changes include the addition of a garage under the property, conversion of a single unit into four units, enclosure of the original porch and replacement of features such as doors and windows.

City staff said the property should not be designated, and Moomjian repeated his assertion that the owner doesn’t want it designated. There is “no community interest in seeing this property designated,” Moomjian said.

Coyle, however, said she believes “this structure still conveys the La Jolla beach cottage [style] in spite of the changes. The influence is still apparent to me. And I don’t think it’s appropriate to say there is no community interest. ... If and when these structures come down, there is going to be community concern about why that happened.”

Some board members said it was regretful that the changes were made and that they would vote to support staff “with sadness.”

HRB trustee Cindy Stankowski joked that she would “risk the bad karma” and move to support the staff recommendation.

The motion passed 7-1, with Coyle opposed.

Other HRB news

Two La Jolla houses were approved for historic designation on the board’s consent agenda, without discussion: The Julia Goodell house at 7112 Monte Vista Ave. in the Barber Tract neighborhood and the Dorrit and Albert Wright house at 8445 Avenida de las Ondas in the La Jolla Shores neighborhood.

Both were approved under HRB Criterion C, which states a house “embodies distinctive characteristics of a style, type, period or method of construction or is a valuable example of the use of natural materials or craftsmanship.”

According to a staff report associated with the Goodell house, “The resource embodies the distinctive characteristics through the retention of character defining features of the Spanish Eclectic style and retains a good level of architectural integrity from its 1924 period of significance. Specifically, the resource features a stucco exterior, a flat roof with simple parapet, red clay tile roofing, decorative iron work and fenestration including multi lite wooden windows.”

The designation excludes the 300-square-foot L-shaped addition on the southwest elevation that was completed outside the period of significance.

The staff report associated with the Wright house said: “The resource embodies the distinctive characteristics through the retention of character defining features of Post and Beam and retains a good level of architectural integrity from its 1955 period of significance. Specifically, the resource retains the direct expression of the wood structural system; U-shaped structure; shallow pitched roof with deep overhang; wood cladding; floor-to-ceiling glass; and the absence of applied decoration.”

The designation excludes the northeast and southeast additions, the added parapet and Japanese-inspired gate above and to the right of the garage, which were constructed outside the period of significance.

The board next meets at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, online. It isn’t yet known whether any La Jolla properties will be reviewed. ◆